Ange Postecoglou has named a 30-man squad for Australia’s upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Japan and Thailand.
Matthew Jurman receives his first call-up to the national squad as he looks to make his debut in a squad that includes 22 players that competed at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia.
Mile Jedinak and Brad Smith return to the squad after missing the Confederations Cup through injury while youngsters James Jeggo, Awer Mabil and Riley McGree are also seeking their first caps in the pair of crucial games.
Australia travel to Japan for a clash with the Blue Samarai on August 31 in a game that will have great bearings on the final results of the group, with Postecoglou saying he was confident with the squad that had been picked.
“We haven’t strayed too far from the players who went to the Confederations Cup and who we have had on the radar for a while, so not a great deal of change at this stage,” Postecoglou said.
“There are a few new faces as well to have a look at, but overall pretty pleased with the shape we are in.
“It is going to be a great challenge playing away from home against one of the top nations but that’s what we like to embrace as a team.
“We are looking forward to going over there and hopefully getting three points which will put us in great shape for qualification.
The Socceroos will then return to Melbourne in preparation to take on Thailand at AAMI Park on September 5 in the final match of the group stage.
“Wherever we have played away from home in this group there have been large crowds to support the home team which definitely makes a difference and we want the same in Melbourne.
“I know the players look forward to it. There is nothing better than playing on home soil, in front of a big crowd and hopefully getting a good win,” concluded Postecoglou.
The Socceroos currently sit one point behind Japan on the table in third position, with Saudi Arabia wedged between the two Asian rivals on the table.
FULL 30-MAN SQUAD FOR WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS
GOALKEEPERS: Mathew Ryan, Mitchell Langerak, Danny Vukovic, Adam Federici